How to Lead When You're Not in Charge

Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority
Narrated by: Clay Scroggins, Gabe Wicks
Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3,036 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"This book will be one of the most, if not the most, pivotal leadership books you'll ever read." (Andy Stanley)

"If you're ready to lead right where you are, this book can show you how to start." (Dave Ramsey)

"Read this book! The marketplace is full of leadership messages, but this one is a stand out." (Louie Giglio)

In How to Lead When You're Not in Charge, author and pastor Clay Scroggins explains what is needed to be a great leader - even when you answer to someone else. Drawing from biblical principles and his experience as a megachurch pastor, Clay will help you nurture your vision and cultivate influence, even when you lack authority in your organization. 

Every leader, young or old, resonates with the dead-end feeling of not being in charge. Too often the lack of authority paralyzes leaders, leaving them believing they must wait to be in charge until they can lead. One of the greatest myths of leadership is that you must be in charge in order to lead. Great leaders don't buy it. Great leaders lead with or without the authority to lead. Because every road of leadership forks at the intersection of authority and influence, learning to cultivate influence without authority is foundational to navigating culture today.

Charts and graphs included in the audiobook companion PDF download.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Clay Scroggins (P)2017 Zondervan

What listeners say about How to Lead When You're Not in Charge

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A Voice Worth Hearing

I am not Christian. By any means. I grew up protestant, but that ended quickly--like age 7. I don't believe in organized religion by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in spirituality.

I also have read/listened to an ungodly amount of self-dev books.

Those two things being said, this is a great book. It is very Christian, and Mr. Scroggins--who is some kind of pastor at a huge church in Georgia, IIRC--quotes the bible persistently and at length.

Normally when I hear this kind of stuff you've lost me. I'm done. But Scroggins imbues his message with more than enough practical and secular advice that it's easy enough to side-step the Christian message here.

For me, what worked, was simply acknowledging his Christian beliefs as a way of making sense of certain management principles, and it worked for me to listen to the Christian parables without feeling the need to convert back to the religion.

The actual meat of this book is in Scroggins impressive understanding of the attitudes and practices one needs to effect change from any position within an organizational hierarchy. He knows his stuff, and believe it or not, a megachurch is a great example of an organizational hierarchy. It is one that is built, perhaps even more so than a corporation or business, on the strength of community and social connection--so it serves its purpose as an accurate backdrop for professional development.

If you are Christian and looking to make more of a difference from within the organizations that you are a part of, this is a must buy.

If you are secular or of another spiritual persuasion, and looking to learn how to best leverage your influence even when you lack the specific title to seemingly do so directly, this is still a wise purchase. Just don't let the Christian themes overburden you.

411 people found this helpful

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Wasn't what I expected, but pleasantly surprised.

I purchase the book thinking it was another cold exploration of leadership in a business environment. In truth it is a collection of sermons on leadership. You get the feeling that the author is giving a lecture rather than reading from the book. And yes it is a sermon. He quotes scripture and uses Jesus as an example of leadership. But please do not let that dissuade you from buying this book. The message is fantastic. Something we all can use.
The only issue is some sound tech/editing errors that you won't even remember by the end of the book.

113 people found this helpful

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Challenging what leadership looks like

Honestly, what really helped me from this book is being able to understand that my identity is and never will be in a title. Everything comes from your influence and we need to understand what submission looks like in order to lead well. When you know who you are as a leader apart from any titles and authority, then you realize the very things that need to be worked on in order to grow. This book helped me see my leaders differently and really changed everything for the positive! This book is a must read for those that struggle with being a leader when they have don’t have a title, etc.

20 people found this helpful

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Misnamed Book, Disappointing Content without Practicality

This book should really be named “Why to Lead When You’re Not in Charge.” Listening the first few chapters I kept waiting for the author to actually get to the meat. He spent the whole time persuading the reader why it is a good thing to take initiative to lead when not in charge, but the thing is, I believe most readers already agree it is a good thing and that’s why we picked up this book. We are looking to learn the “how.” Disappointingly, I completed the book and the author offered no practical tips on how to do that and really just spent the whole book’s length to explain the “why,” which is why I think the book was misnamed. If you don’t think it’s a good thing to lead, pick up this book. The author will fervently and passionately persuade you with all the benefits, but if you want to learn how to actually do it, this book offers no help in any practicality unfortunately.

119 people found this helpful

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This is a sermon not a book about Leadership.

This book is more of a sermon than a book about leadership. Disappointed. I wanted to listen about Leadership not go to church.

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Restart!

What did you love best about How to Lead When You're Not in Charge?

It was easily listenable. It is from a Christian perspective but not overwhelming nor were there opinions forced on you. Scroggins life is in ministry and he does a great job on giving his perspective on leadership which is a Christian perspective. It is non offensive for a non Christian,--no fire and brimstone preaching, --it is a holistic look at work. Leadership books don't necessarily include the spiritual aspect of work. The perspective is founded in purpose and developing oneself to 100%. Where do you belong? I felt the book speaks to those who are younger who might not know how to behave or take action. It also speaks to those who are possibly stagnant in their career. It is a helpful guide to a jump start and look for a perspective shift.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Lead When You're Not in Charge?

I think in certain parts he deals with acceptance of the situation that is not going anywhere. Aims at diplomacy. Self evaluation and owning your part.

Have you listened to any of Clay Scroggins and Gabe Wicks ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed

Any additional comments?

It would be nice to hear how he deals with extreme and very difficult situations. Like glass ceilings or discrimination gender bias. Not looking at very difficult issues did not take away from the book at all, it was just not in the scope of the book.

42 people found this helpful

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Good message but REALLY preachy

I appreciated the message of this book, but I couldn't stick with it long enough to get any technique ideas for the apparent point of the book. That is because a few chapters in he starts to go deep into preaching fundamentalist religious views. Unfortunate. By the way I am Christian.

56 people found this helpful

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Bible quotes do not constitute actionable info

This book should have a disclaimer. For those of us who are not Christians, and therefore will get very little of substance from this work. Either that or the author should unpublish this work and re-write it, replacing the bible verses with information from well known organizational and business thought leaders. I cannot accept a letter written from Paul to the Corinthians a couple thousand years ago as evidence that my behavior in the workplace should change. My gospel is research and best practices. I'm sure the author means well, but he obviously lives in a world where everyone is Christian and therefore feels that this book has a universal appeal. For those of us who are not, it feels like we have been cheated.

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Religious Based

The book is mainly religious based, which is fine, but I would not have chosen the book had I known. The preview nor the book details portrayed this to be the case, which I feel is very misleading.

61 people found this helpful

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Great book

Not your typical leadership book and that's what I loved about it. Clay gives us examples of how to lead everyday regardless of title.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-27-19

All god and no substance

Thoroughly disappointing and a waste of money. Ditched it after the first two chapters. More about religion than leadership. If you omit the religious propaganda there is zero actual substance to take away from this book. Avoid wasting your money, unless you like that kind of thing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-20-19

Bible basher on full volume

Awful, yet another god botherer pretending to have special knowledge. If you want to hear evangelising, you've hit the jackpot.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 05-15-19

A church worker in need of an editor

This book is written with a couple of assumptions; you are a member of an evangelical North American church, and you take most your motivation for all aspects of you life from the bible.
The text and performance follow on from those points. If, like most of the world, that’s not your background, you may find this book somewhat alienating. I did. Which is a shame because Clay has good things to say and, when drawing on his own experience, he is witty, self deprecating and wise.
A friend and I started listening to this together so we could share notes, but they gave up at chapter 3. There was too much ‘children of the light’ to be able to discern the management lessons.

I think it wasn’t written for me and I suspect the author will have been blown away by its success outside his world. I’m pleased for him, he seems like a decent person with two things to impart; his own Christian belief, and clear thoughts on management. I think both would be more clearly communicated in separate books, which a tougher editor may have helped with.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carolyn Jones
  • 09-10-20

I got more than information

Amazing read. A real inspiration and blessing. Clay has indeed walked more than a mile in my shoes. It's given me a perspective of where I am and what I need to do going forward. Greatly Recommended.

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  • Jonathan broderick
  • 05-18-20

To religious

Whilst this book is a very good listen, it was more religious than expected. Whilst relating leadership to Jesus, if your belief in Jesus is minimal like mine it is difficult however the principles are relatable

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  • Craig
  • 01-08-20

Religious connotations / religiously orientated

I'm very disappointed to hear that the stories used to explain the authors perspective are so orientated towards God. It consistently refers to God as something to be considered when reflecting objectively about making decisions.

Although it is within any persons rights to choose to put faith in any divine or non-divine belief, one that relies so heavily on imagination should not be used to reason with logical concepts.


I'm sure it would cause an uproar to put a "religious connotations" or "religiously orientated perspective" advisory note on content, but why not... your Amazon ...and Amazon is bigger than God.

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  • Vee
  • 05-01-19

Practical

loved the pop culture references. It was bible based without being preachy. Worth the read.

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  • Luca Versiglia
  • 11-22-17

misguiding

beginning reading this book I found the concepts explained were absolutely great. the content however was explained in a catholic key that tries to convince you to read the bible and the old testament, in all honesty as an atheist i havnt appreciated this as it wasnt mentioned in the title which becomes misleading compared to the actual content.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 07-17-19

I want my money back! BUYER BEWARE!

I did not ask for a book to preach to me about religious ideology. Very disappointed. This book is produced under the guise of helping with leading yet it is a cloak for preaching.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-19

👎🏼

Lost my interest in the best part of 2 seconds. Starts talking about church and leaders etc. The only thing church leaders do is cover up horrid abuse and brain wash people.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-24-19

Strong religious ideologies.

Should be listed under religious material. Quotes scripture and verse throughout. I'm actually disappointed. There is no question that should be answered with "Because God wants you to!" in this day and age. Particularly under this format.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 12-12-18

Amazing Narration + Amazing Content

One of the best books I’ve ever read on leadership. Loved how practical it was! And the narration by Clay was possibly the best I’ve ever heard on Audible! Will have to re-listen more than once to get everything out of it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-17

average

gave up on it after the second chapter. it's a Bible basher book so wasn't too relevant to what I was looking for

2 people found this helpful

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  • Silvano
  • 07-02-18

American religious nonsense

The classical American religious bullshit. The author keeps talking about "hearing the voice of God". If you hear voices, you've got schizofrenia and you should look for mental help. Your disease doesn't teach me anything. Useless book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-22-18

Separate Church from state

Unannounced Christian motivations dulled the delivery and purpose of the content. Otherwise decipherable and enjoyable.